The Kevin Durant sweepstakes will start before free agency officially tips off when midnight turns the calendar to July 1.
Durant will meet with the Thunder on Thursday — something he can do before July 1 because he is technically still a member of the team. Every other team gets to make their pitches Friday and Saturday. Chris Broussard of ESPN has the details.
Durant, who is currently in Los Angeles filming a TV commercial, will fly to Oklahoma City with agent Rich Kleiman on Wednesday night for the meeting, sources said….
Durant will then fly to New York to meet with the remaining five teams on his list over the first few days of July. His first meeting on the morning of July 1 will be with the Golden State Warriors.
Besides the Thunder and Warriors, the teams that have meetings set are the Spurs, Clippers, Heat, and Celtics. The Knicks are expected to get a chance to pitch Durant as well. Marc Stein adds some details.
After leaks come out about how every team did well with their pitch — you can bet KD’s team learned the lesson of negative leaks after what happened with LaMarcus Aldridge and the Lakers last season — Durant will want to make his decision relatively quickly. He’s not going to drag this out (his decision could impact some players farther down the ladder, but there will not be a bottleneck like years past).
He can sign a deal on July 8 when the moratorium on signings ends (no team can sign a free agent to more than a minimum contract before that date), then he is off to Asia for a quick promotional tour. By July 18 Durant will be in Las Vegas for the start of Team USA’s training camp for the Rio Olympics.